Monday, March 24, 2008

Food Costs

So with all the articles about the rising cost of food I am wondering if and how it affects me. In looking at the prices on some of my staples I haven't seen a big change:

grapefruit 4 for $1 in winter
lemons were 6 for $1, now they are 5; that's hardly huge
asparagus, $2 for a bunch in early spring
eggs from the stand at the farmers market, $1.30 last year to $1.80 this weekend; still not that bad

I don't remember the price on a lot of my pantry items, which makes it hard for me to say what has gone up and how much.

I have not changed any of my habits thus far but at what point would I or should I? And what kind of changes? Unfortunately I don't have a detailed enough record of my expenditures to know how much is spent where. I should get one of those Quicken type programs... I will one of these days and actually use it.

The biggest bang would probably come from eating out less or eating at restaurants that are cheaper. Let's say I spend maybe $100 a month on groceries. That's $25/week, which seems fair. I have spent more than that on a single meal when eating out (admittedly, that's usually me +1 or more but that's besides the point) But I like new restaurants and good food and I can't cook as well. And I really don't eat out all that often, maybe a couple times a month. And eating out is not really a huge expense relative to my income. Which leads to the question, when would it be enough to be considered significant?

How much will the prices go up in the near future? Enough to have an impact on my spending habits? Probably not. Though enough to make me notice and perhaps think about my choices more. Which will likely change my actions. So then probably? But I always think about my choices so maybe not. Though I don't really think about my flour, sugar, basic items spending much so maybe. But even if they quadrupled I don't think it would ultimately cut back on my baking. Though maybe it'll make me be more careful and not drop a 5 lb container of flour on the floor with the lid not on so I'd end up buying less. Though you would like to think I would not do that again regardless of how much it costs because flour and hardwood floors with practically no finish on them are not a good combination. Hmmm.


chicken said...

That's a huge increase in eggs. Over 38% in one year. If my net worth increased by half that every year I could retire in 5 years. That is, unless I needed to buy a lot of eggs. It just doesn't seem like a lot because you probably don't eat all that many eggs.

shalimar said...

heh - i'm all caught up! i've read everything now!